Mr Kipling has thrown its hat into the ambient dessert market, with the launch of Mr Kipling Puddings. It marks a new focus for the brand, which currently produces cakes, tarts, pies and slices.The ambient sponge puddings market is currently worth £14.5m (IRI value sales 52w/e 9 July 2011), but is currently in decline as consumers switch to chilled products said the firm. Given the brand’s long established baking credentials, and its popularity with consumers, sponge puddings were a natural next step, it added, and the brand aims to grow this area of the market by bringing some of its existing cake customers into the ambient desserts aisle.“Six in ten households bought a Mr Kipling product in the last 12 months offering ample opportunity for crossover,” commented Tim Olley, category controller for desserts at parent company Premier Foods. “The launch of Mr Kipling sponge puddings is a real opportunity for Premier Foods to step change the ambient pudding market and return it to growth,” added Sarah Burnett, senior brand manger cake for Premier Foods. She said the firm would be competing with the likes of the Aunty’s brand, as well as own-label and chilled products, adding that the new range was been targeted at the mainstream market.The new range of microwaveable sponge puddings will be available in five varieties – Chocolate, Sticky Toffee, Lemon, Golden Syrup and Raspberry, and will launch in stores from late August.